A new type of covid test has just been authorized by the FDA. It’s known as a T-cell test, and here’s how it works.

A T-cell test, like an antibody test, helps detect if you’ve been previously infected with Covid-19. This is due to the fact that both antibodies and T-cells are made by your immune system in response to an infection. But, several studies have shown antibodies decrease over time. So, if antibodies are tested for too late after their infection it may result in a false negative.

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While it’s not known how long T-cells last, it’s thought to be longer than antibodies. This could be a critical tool for those who aren’t sure if they’ve been infected in the past. The test is administered like an antibody test, via a blood draw. Currently, it costs $150 out of pocket but cheaper options of this technology may be available soon.

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